‘DWTS’ Contestant JoJo Siwa Defends Prior Dancing Experience

  • JoJo Siwa said she is “like a football player trying to play baseball” on “Dancing with the Stars.”
  • The YouTube star doesn’t think her past dance experience will be an advantage for her.
  • Siwa starred in “Dance Moms” and placed fifth in a competition spinoff of the reality show.

JoJo Siwa said her past dance experience is “truly different” compared to what she’s about to do on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Siwa told Us Weekly and other publications on Wednesday that her partner on the show texted her that she shouldn’t let her prior dancing experience get to her while preparing for the upcoming season 30 of “DWTS” because “it’s totally different than anything you’ve ever done.”

“I think for me, the best analogy that I came up with was it’s like a football player trying to play baseball or soccer or basketball,” Siwa said. “It’s truly different. It’s different muscles, it’s different styles.”

At the same time, Siwa acknowledged that she might have a slight advantage over her “DWTS” costars with “the ability to pick up” and “comprehend” dance terms and moves faster than people with less experience.

‘DWTS’ isn’t Siwa’s first time participating in a dancing reality TV show

Siwa and her mother, Jessalynn, previously appeared on two seasons of “Dance Moms” between 2015 and 2016 and placed fifth on the second season of the spinoff “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” in 2013.

“DWTS” typically showcases ballroom dancing while fans of Siwa are more used to watching her bop along to energetic pop numbers

Jojo Siwa and mother Getty

Siwa and her mother, Jessalynn Siwa.

Contributor/Getty Images


Siwa’s “DWTS” costar, former Broadway performer Amanda Kloots, echoed Siwa in a separate chat with Us Weekly where Kloots said she felt that she is “throwing myself into a new boat here” despite some fans thinking she may have a leg up on her competition.

“Ballroom dancing and Broadway dancing — the Broadway dancing that I used to do — are honestly like English and Japanese. I am learning a completely new language,” she told the publication. “I have to throw everything I know out the window, and it’s like starting from day one. I think the only thing that’s similar is the grueling rehearsals, the blisters, the sore body, the sore muscles and the want to learn and just do better.

Kloots also explained that she has no experience partnering with other people in dance numbers on Broadway.

“This whole being held by a man, being led by a man is completely different. [It’s] a whole new world,” she added.

Amanda Kloots on set at "The Talk"

Amanda Kloots also addressed criticism regarding her dancing background.

Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Image


While Siwa and Kloots are not the first “DWTS” contestants to appear on the show with prior dancing experience, past contestants have spoken out about their competitors having an edge over them with dance skills. 

Rapper Nelly, who placed third in season 29 of the popular ABC show, previously told Entertainment Tonight in November 2020 that he wouldn’t have agreed to join the cast of “DWTS” if he’d known he was competing against people with more dance training.

“Because you don’t stack yourself up against that,” he said. “Why would I get in a boxing match with someone who’s been boxing since they were 12? Why would I go play basketball with somebody who played in college? There are certain things that you’re basically setting yourself up for.”

Former “Bachelorette” lead Kaitlyn Bristowe won season 29 of “DWTS.” Bristowe is a trained ballet dancer and also has some experience with tap dancing, but called the show’s ballroom dancing “just a whole other beast.”

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